Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December, 2015, Part 7, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care -By The Numbers

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements it rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:
  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating health care costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high health care costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here but with a big exception: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our health care costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

This will be the final review for this month of the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) A recent article by Heritage Foundation writer Paul Winfree reviewed how far off government estimates were on how Obama Care was going to work out:
  • We have previously discussed the concept of risk corridors, the process where the Obama administration would take excess profits from companies offering Obama Care policies and give it to Obama Care companies that experienced excess losses from Obama Care policies.
  • These corridors would exist for the first few years of Obama Care to encourage companies to offer Obama Care policies and to ease the transition into Obama Care world.
  • This process would not involve taxpayer wealth since the administration and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) were confident that there would be more excess profits than excess losses.
  • The CBO estimated in 2014 that there would be $1.7 billion in excess profits while the administration was much more robust, estimating there would be an amazing $5.5 million in excess profits.
  • The reality was far different than this forecasts with the actual excess profits coming in at just $362 million, a paltry 20% or so relative to the CBO forecast and a small fraction of the administration’s fairy tale $5.5 billion estimate.
  • Obviously the CBO and the administration had no clue at how bad these Obama Care policies actually were from a profitability perspective.
  • But apparently they were the only entities that were so ignorant since a report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a 2014 report stating the risk corridors program would come up short and the Standard And Poor’s Ratings Service in May, 2015 estimated that excess losses would exceed excess profits.
  • Fortunately, Congress passed a piece of legislation in 2015 that keeps taxpayers out of the paying for the shortfall.
Thus, even though many people and organizations knew that Obama Care financials were a joke from the start, it took the Obama administration and the CBO years and years to figure out that these estimates were not pessimistic and lowballing, they eventually became reality.

2) Let’s keep rolling with the dreadful Obama Care numbers, this set of numbers from Forbes:
  • At one point the CBO estimated that by 2016 Obama Care enrolled total would be over 20 million, they then reduced it to 14 million, and are now saying it will be closer to 9.5 million.
  • Many of these enrollees were enrolled into Medicaid via Obama Care, putting more financial pressure on failing Federal program that is heading straight into financial ruin.
  • Of the 9.5 million people, less than 2 million will enroll without a need for a tax credit subsidy, making the Obama Care financials and insurance company results very poor.
  • George Mason University’s Mercatus Center analyzed previous enrollment estimates of both government and private entities, all of which came in much higher than today’s reality.
  • These models assumed that not only would a lot more American sign up for Obama Care but that a far higher percentage of those people would be healthier and younger than who actually enrolled: “…Early data, however, show that insurers have enrolled a disproportionate number of older and sicker people. Despite an $8 billion subsidy through a reinsurance program to pay the majority of the expenses for high-cost ACA plan enrollees, insurers’ 2014 losses on ACA plans equaled about 12 percent of the premiums collected. Of the 23 health care cooperatives (co-ops) that were initiated with ACA start-up loans, 12 have already gone out of business or are shutting down at the end of 2015 because of massive losses from ACA plans. Part of the reason for a worse-than expected risk pool is that the individual mandate appears to be leading fewer relatively healthy people to enroll than was expected.”
  • UnitedHealth, as we have already reviewed, may drop out of the whole Obama Care marketplace due to the half a billion dollars they have already lost on Obama Care policies, a reality that is causing them to scale back their marketing efforts and plans in order to discourage new customers getting their Obama Care policies from UnitedHealth.
  • As of the middle of the summer, five of the 13 states that had set up their own Obama Care health care exchanges had already folded and been absorbed into the Federal Obama Care exchange. This is in addition to over half of the 23 Obama Care co-ops already having been shut down or in the process of being shut down.
  • The cost of Obama Care policies are generally going to increase in 2016, the third year in a row they have increased, even though the President claimed that families could see an annual decrease in their health insurance costs of up to $2,500.
What a mess. You probably could not make a worst piece of legislation if you tried:
  1. Over half of the co-ops have crashed. 
  2. About 40% of the state exchanges have already died. 
  3. The long term care aspect of Obama Care died a few years ago.
  4. Premium costs of all Obama Care policies, bronze, gold, silver, and platinum, will on average go up over 20% in 2016. 
  5. Higher than previous deductible levels have created the perverse situation where more people have health insurance but cannot get healthcare because they cannot afford the higher deductibles.
  6. Employers have cut back on hiring to avoid Obama Care penalties and fines, reducing working hours of workers and economic growth. 
  7. Even when companies offered health insurance via their companies, very, very few of their employees signed up.
  8. More older and sicker people than expected have signed up for Obama Care vs. younger and healthier people which is torpedoing the financial results of the insurance companies. 
  9. The lower than expected enrollment and worse than expected mix is making the risk corridors come up short in supporting insurance companies.
  10. The legislation will add almost $2 TRILLION to the national debt. 
  11. The threat of identity theft is extremely high, given the poor data security aspects and implementation of the Obama Care computer systems.
  12. The credibility of this President and his administration has been crushed given the many lies, deceptions, and shortfalls that have been publicly declared.
  13. Etc., etc., etc.
And the saddest aspect of all, the root causes of this country’s high healthcare costs, as listed above, still rampage on despite $2 TRILLION of government expense and the extensive turmoil caused by the law. If the law had least eliminated some of the root causes of high healthcare costs, it may have been somewhat worthwhile. But alas, it did not and the unfolding disasters continue to unfold every, single month. 

It took us seven days to get through all of the latest ObamaCare disasters. I guarantee you we will be back next month with another list of unfolding disasters.

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